MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - After more than 10 hours of debate between lawmakers and a little controversy, the Alabama lottery bill passed the House with 64 votes late Thursday.
Now that the bill has passed the House, it will go back to the Senate. If the Senate concurs with the bill, it will go before the people to be voted on. If the Senate does not concur, it would go before a conference committee.
Thursday evening the bill initially failed to pass the House only receiving 61 votes from lawmakers, two votes short of the required number needed. A motion to reconsider the bill was then brought up, and the House voted on the bill a second time where it received the necessary votes.
Even if the Senate votes to pass the bill however, it is not clear if it will be on the ballot in the November elections.
In order to extend the deadline for the bill to make it on the November ballot, Sec. of State Merrill would need to override the already passed deadline with a constitutional amendment. By doing so, this would allow the bill to be on the ballot if approved by midnight Saturday.
Secretary of State John Merrill says the only way he will put the state lottery on the November 8th ballot is if the legislature changes the Aug. 24 deadline. In order for that to happen, Governor Robert Bentley would need to submit an executive amendment to change the deadline.
Gov. Robert Bentley has called the debate over a specific date to put the measure to a vote of the people a "smokescreen" saying those who will or won't vote for it will do so regardless of the timing of the special election.